Dr. Joseph S. Renzulli is a leader and pioneer in gifted education and applying the pedagogy of gifted education teaching strategies to all students. The American Psychological Association named him among the 25 most influential psychologists in the world. He received the Harold W. McGraw, Jr. Award for Innovation in Education, considered by many to be “the Nobel” for educators, and was a consultant to the White House Task Force on Education of the Gifted and Talented. His work on the Three Ring Conception of Giftedness, the Enrichment Triad Model and curriculum compacting and differentiation were pioneering efforts in the 1970s, and he has contributed hundreds of books, book chapters, articles, and monographs to the professional literature, many of which have been translated to other languages. His most recent work is an online personalized learning program that provides profiles of each student’s academic strengths, interests, learning styles, and preferred modes of expression.
Assessment For Learning: The Missing Element For Identifying High Potential in Low Income and Minority Groups
A major controversy facing the field of gifted education is the underrepresentation of low income, minority, and dual language students. Strategies for addressing this challenge have been to use universal screening and local norms; however, these useful recommendations continue to focus on traditional testing procedures that measure what students already know and overlook other important traits that contribute to high levels of creative productivity. Assessment for learning examines traits such as interests, instructional preference styles, preferred modes of expression, and executive function skills. Although sometimes referred as the “soft skills,” they have gained much more attention on the parts of college admission officers and employers, especially for higher level leadership positions. Instruments that assess these traits are often completed by the students themselves; and technology and artificial intelligence now allow us to administer and analyze them with the same ease used for traditional standardized tests.
The major purpose of our work on Assessment for Learning is to make major changes in the quality of learning and the culture of the school by promoting Enjoyment, Engagement, and Enthusiasm For Learning for all students and teachers. We do this by combining this new work with previous work consisting of the Schoolwide Enrichment Model, the Enrichment Model, and a technology based tool called the Renzulli Learning System.
Numerous articles and presentations have identified the problem and offered general suggestions for addressing underrepresentation. The approach recommended here drills down to a specific set of instruments that provide teachers with assessment for learning information that can guide them in providing talent development accommodations for underrepresented students.